Square Enix Audio, Internet Radio for Fans
Square Enix just launched a free, browser-based music service called Square Enix Audio. It’s pretty easy for English-speakers to navigate even though the site is intended for a Japanese audience.
There are four tabs to the control interface: Emotion, Title, Arrange, and Special. All are labeled in English.
Emotion lets you adjust four settings to set the radio according to your mood. Unfortunately, the “knobs” you use to adjust the settings are labeled Power, Mental, Tension, and Pace. As a Japanese-English bilingual with a better than average understanding of the strange ways in which the Japanese use English loan words, I still don’t get what each setting is for, exactly.
Title lets you choose music by game. Currently, there are only eight titles listed. Only one has kanji in the title, and to the best of my knowledge that game is unavailable outside of Japan. If you look, you’ll recognize at least four of the titles: Xenogears, Dissidia, FFXIII, and FFXIII-2.
Arrange appears to be for third-party covers of Square Enix game music. It only has one channel, unhelpfuly named SQ Tracks. Represented genres vary widely.
Special has two tracks, both labeled in Japanese and which I’ve translated on the screenshot below. One says Chocobo and is non-stop chocobo theme remixes. The other is new releases, though whether it’s new songs in the Square Enix Audio system or newly released albums is unclear.
The whole system is clearly designed to sell music. When you hit the play button, a pop-up window appears showing the album cover and purchase links for the current song. And most if not all of the songs only play an excerpt. It’s harder to tell with the actual game soundtrack clips than it is with the cover song clips. However, the Xenogears channel, for example, plays exceprts from albums like Xenogears Creid as well, and as a big fan of that album I caught the cut off right away. You don’t have to be familiar with the tracks to tell when a 30-second clip starts and end in the middle of words, though.
Source: 4gamer.net (Japanese)
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